Archive for March, 2010

4
Mar

The “reclusive” author,  J.D. Salinger, died at the end of January, and the front page New York Times article (www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/books/29salinger.html) said this about his service in World War II:

“He served with the Counter-Intelligence Corps of the Fourth Infantry Division, whose job was to interview Nazi deserters and sympathizers, and was stationed for a while in Tiverton, Devon, the setting of “For Esmé — with Love and Squalor,” probably the most deeply felt of the “Nine Stories.” On June 6, 1944, he landed at Utah Beach, and he later saw action during the Battle of the Bulge. In 1945 he was hospitalized for “battle fatigue” — often a euphemism for a breakdown — and after recovering he stayed on in Europe past the end of the war, chasing Nazi functionaries.”

Given that, as part of the 4th Infantry Division, J. D. Salinger landed on Utah Beach on D-Day and fought at the Battle of the Bulge, it seems odd that his “battle fatigue” received half a sentence. Nor does the article mention that his division liberated Dachau’s subcamps. Yet though the article– just like all other commentaries and discussions of Mr. Salinger’s life– explores at length his solitary and unusual characteristics, there is no mention that his trauma might have played any role at all, yet alone a significant one, in his behavior.

Neither “battle fatigue” nor “PTSD”reveals what war does to the soul. As a veteran says at the end of Ken Burns’ World War II series, “We all were war casualties.” War’s terrors rip soldiers from their moral and emotional anchors, severing them from their identities, families, and communities. Mr. Salinger’s isolation and literature expressed the consequences of where he had been and what he had seen there.  Take another look at  “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.”

I wrote a letter to the New York Times pointing out the value that such a perspective might create.  The newspaper did not publish it.

For all the presence of “PTSD” in our news, our vocabulary, even our television shows, I see a deep resistance to acknowledging how people in our lives- whether intimate family members or cultural icons—were and are troubled by trauma. Perhaps such acknowledgement would require recognizing within ourselves stunted aspects of our own spirits.

I know how painful and difficult that is to do.  For years—in the face of incontrovertible evidence— I avoided recognizing my own trauma.

Judaism believes we are all born with a neshama tora. A pure soul.  Acknowledging the loss of that integrity is excruciating.  But to deny it keeps us stuck, unable to heal and renew our purpose.

The Multigenerational Ripple of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Category : Uncategorized | Blog
مبلمان اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری میز اداری وبلاگدهی فروشگاه اینترنتی گن لاغری شکم بند لاغری آگهی استخدام آگهی رایگان تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ بوی بد دهان